Charles Edward Andrews was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 18 January 1893. He was the son of Henry Jeremiah Andrews (1857-?), a seaman, and Emily Ann Roberton (1859-1920). Both his parents were originally from Southampton and had married there in 1879, moving northward shortly after, settling in Liverpool where they started their family.
Charles was one of eight children born to his parents, his surviving siblings being: George Henry (b. 1881), Amy Jane (b. 1885), Laura Annie (b. 1887), Alick Roberton (b. 1891), Albert (b. 1895) and Harry (b. 1898).
Charles first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at Oakleigh on Bedford Road, Walton on the Hill, Liverpool. He and his family later returned to and settled in Southampton and appear on the 1911 census living at 145 Millbrook Road, Freemantle. Charles is absent and apparently at sea. Charles reportedly went to sea at age 15. A keen and accomplished swimmer, he would earn awards for his abilities. He would have his first brush with calamity when aboard the Olympic in September 1911 when she collided with HMS Hawke.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Charles gave his address as 145 Millbrook Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Oceanic. As a steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. Also serving aboard was his cousin George Roberton.
Andrews was rescued in lifeboat 16 and he later testified at the Senate Inquiry into the sinking.
....Besides these six men, I should think there were about fifty passengers. There was no effort on the part of the steerage men to get into our boat. I was told by the officer to allow none in it. When the officer started to fill the boat with passengers and the men to man it, there were no individuals who tried to get in, or that he permitted to get in. There was no confusion whatever. The officer asked me if I could take an oar. I said I could.....
Andrews signed-on to the Oceanic on 10 July 1912 and would continue working at sea during both World Wars, later serving on both the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth as a masseuse, Turkish bath attendant, swimming instructor and steward.
Charles Andrews in about 1919
(National Archives, courtesy of Gavin Bell, UK)
Charles was married in Millbrook Church, Southampton in 1932 to Ivy Winifred Powell (b. 1 January 1903 in Eling, Totton, Hants) and they had two children, Ann Marina (b. 1934) and John Edward (b. 1937). He eventually retired from the sea in 1959.
Charles Andrews died in Southampton on 2 January 1961 and his ashes were scattered in South Stoneham Cemetery, Swaythling in Section 6. His wife passed away in 1979.